Every Leader is Different
Sports and athletics have offered many of us an opportunity to develop critical leadership and life skills. This podcast episode features a special guest who faced a unique set of circumstances requiring him to remain agile and authentic throughout his childhood and young career.
Maximize Rounding in Your Organization
There isn’t a wrong way to conduct rounding – unless you are avoiding it all together. When we round, our goal is to build relationships with our stakeholders. It doesn’t matter if we approach rounding in a formal or informal fashion. Its true value is in the connection itself.
Do We Always Ask the Same Rounding Questions?
When leaders round with employees on a routine basis, they harvest valuable information and form a trusting relationship. Although we like to start with 4 specific questions, it can be helpful to personalize your rounding conversations over the course of your relationship.
What can "Connect to Purpose" sound like?
In our work and personal lives we all want to feel that what we do matters. Giving, serving, leaning into our values, and thinking about others can all help fuel us with a sense of purpose, as our podcast guests share during their connect to purpose stories.
Include People in the Process
There are times where there are no easy choices or decisions. Yet, when we collaborate with others, we can help ease the weight and also discover victories worth celebrating. Listen as Superintendent, Dr. Tim Dilg, shares how their district is accomplishing more by working together.
Leading During Uncertainty
Leaders in organizations are often facing multiple decisions and are balancing serving multiple audiences. As continuous change becomes a more constant reality we are commonly faced with uncertainty. In this podcast episode, a Superintendent shares how their district is proactively planning communication and preparing for the unknown.
Collecting feedback is just the first step
When we engage our customers in the process of gathering feedback, we are asking for their time and input. What we do next with the data can determine if they will continue to provide us with input and do business with our organizations.
Jump All-In to Improve
After implementing improvement science, many leaders find themselves wondering if they are, in fact, making any improvements and find it difficult to define and sustain progress. In this podcast episode, Superintendent Ryan Carpenter discusses why his team made a commitment to adopt a continuous improvement mindset and tips for implementing an Evidence-Based Leadership℠ framework across the school system.
What Makes a Successful Team?
With substantial pressure on workers and teams to learn new skills, generate innovative and creative products and services, and collaborate to solve complicated problems, we are realizing a need for team members to build deeper connections and take greater risks. To accomplish this, we embrace vulnerability.
Vulnerability is a Strength
For years, people have felt the need to “shut off” or conceal their emotions in the workplace. Now, we are realizing, effective leaders tune into the emotions of their employees to provide support, motivate teams, and create deeper connections between individuals.
There will be anxiety
Whether onset by sudden and dramatic change, or sustained exposure to stressors, the effects of anxiety can be damaging to organizational progress. Keeping themselves and their teams connected and focused on what matters most can help leaders move forward and build the emotional stamina of the team.
Sustain Results at Scale
The work of improvement creates the backbone for real change where it matters. Focus on continuous improvement yields valuable results and radically changes outcomes in a number of fields. In this podcast, Dr. Pat Greco joins us to continue the conversation around improving school systems and organizations so leaders can accelerate results and sustain success over time.
How Can Leaders Develop their Teams?
In this podcast episode, listen as Studer Education Leader Coach, Dr. Melissa Matarazzo shares some game-changing practices that have helped her best support the coaches she leads as well as valuable tips leaders can put into action right now to help grow and develop their teams.
Communicate Decisions by Connecting the Mind and the Heart
Nothing stays the same. In fact, if we keep doing things the same way we’ve always done them, it’s likely our performance will decline. Change is the only constant in our organizations and in life, and for most, change is uncomfortable. Here are 3 leadership characteristics necessary for managing continuously changing organizations.
Increase Customer Transparency
Utilizing social media platforms is a natural way to enhance transparency. On a personal level, people use social media to connect with others and stimulate conversations. In this podcast, a social media expert discusses how organizations can humanize their brand and connect with their communities.
Expectations + Accountability = Shared Vision
Leading an executive team is no easy task. Leading an executive team that's comprised of new executives can be even more challenging. How can leaders of executive teams bring individuals together to execute on a shared vision while also maintaining a focus on developing each individual?
Trust: The Foundation for Successful Teams
As the pace of change continues to increase, the demand on individuals and teams to become more agile is higher than ever. Whether you have a mixture of new and old team members, or a completely new set of people working together, it’s critical to build trust as a team before goals can be accomplished together.
Drive Strategy & Build Relationships
Sabrina Hebeler joins Janet Pilcher to discuss one of the key tenets of Sabrina’s role; to help everyone understand and follow the strategic direction of their organization. Discover the core actions and specific tactics Sabrina used to support the break down of silos on the executive team to help her organization do the most important things to achieve success.
Are coworkers driving you crazy?
Many of us are in frequent contact daily with a number of colleagues, some of which are easier to work with than others. Working with a difficult colleague undermines productivity and happiness in the workplace. Learning to deal with difficult people is vital to our success, both individually and as teams.
Refocus the Conversation
As leaders conduct monthly meetings and regular check-ins with the employees that report to them, it may become apparent that some individuals are more difficult than others. If you find yourself dealing with an employee who frequently guides meetings to an unproductive place, anticipate this behavior and develop a plan to refocus the conversation.
Motivate Colleagues to Grow & Improve
Moments to provide feedback aren't limited to leader-employee interactions, oftentimes it's necessary to deliver feedback to colleagues while working together. In this video, Mandy and Tatiana meet to discuss a project and engage in a collaborative feedback conversation with a positive outcome.
Problematic coworkers initiate conflict
While working with other people it’s not uncommon to encounter a difficult colleague. The better prepared we are to handle situations with difficult coworkers, the happier and more productive we will be at work. Use this video clip to practice responding to a difficult coworker.
Are We Surveying Too Much?
Superintendent Greg Gibson has a great question for Dr. Janet Pilcher during this video, "Do we run the risk of survey burnout with doing so many surveys?" Watch as they explore what causes survey burnout, and what you can do as the leader to prevent it.
Address Employee Needs & Ideas
When an employee reveals a needed resource, barrier to a process, or an idea for improvement, leaders have the responsibility to act on that information. Following-up and following-through after conversations or receiving feedback from employees builds trust and increases engagement and productivity. For this leadership challenge, determine follow-up actions to take as the leader after each leader connection scenario.
Connections Require Follow-Up
Scheduling and conducting monthly connection conversations with employees is a giant step towards increasing engagement on your team. Just as important as the conversations you’re having, is what you do with the information you collect. How can we ensure employees know they’re supported?
Are Your Employees Excited to Get to Work?
Disengaged employees cost the American economy billions per year in lost productivity. Employees can become disengaged when they're made to feel like they're not listened too, valued, or appreciated. To keep people engaged, leaders must remind them of the meaningful outcomes they help to create.
Engage Teams While Improving Processes
One of a leader’s greatest responsibilities is to ensure teams are engaged and productive. People are motivated to increase productivity when leaders take time to get to know them personally, make them feel comfortable, and help remove barriers in the workplace.
Does your organization open up on social media?
People use social media to connect with others and stimulate conversations. In time, organizations have recognized the many benefits of using social media to humanize their brand and connect with their communities. Why should your organization consider using social media to increase transparency?
How do I connect with employees?
Leader connections provide employees with opportunities to give feedback and contribute to decision-making. In this video, one Human Resources employee catches her leader up on process improvements, professional development, and a colleague who has been especially helpful.
Call It How You See It
Values and standards of behavior are essential to high performing organizations. They only work when respected by all team members. Having conversations with a colleague you feel has violated your organization's values is one way to assure everyone stays on course and their is continuous respect of standards.
Build positive and productive thinking
The way leaders construct questions will either open or narrow minds. To get more of what we want out of our teams and increase positive outcomes, it is important for leaders to ask questions that encourage high levels of reflection and creative thinking.
7 Standards of Service Excellence: Creating a World-Class Customer Service Through High-Touch Interactions
What is the ideal praise to criticism ratio?
Only positive feedback can motivate people to continue doing what they’re doing well, and do it with more vigor, determination, and creativity. This article cites several studies about the need to provide a greater amount of positive feedback to offset criticism.
Can't I just say "Hello?"
When we think of anxiety-producing experiences, the beginning of school might be at the top of the list. In this coaching clip, Robin Largue provides several examples of how AIDET® can be used to reduce anxiety and build trust in educational contexts. These examples are easily transferred to other industries to help us create excellence customer experience.
How do I share results with stakeholders?
Transparently sharing results increases engagement and provides data to guide improvement. In this Coaching Clip, Dr. JoAnn Sternke illustrates the basic elements of a results rollout process and provides reassurance for leaders looking to use data to drive growth.
The difference between a low solid and high solid performance conversation
The structure for a low solid performance conversation differs slightly from that of a high solid. In this coaching clip, KK Owen outlines each type and provides a visual of the conversation differences.
How do I know which actions to prioritize?
Asking for feedback provides a model of leading with humility and striking a learner stance. The quantity and content of feedback can be overwhelming. It's important to use feedback to prioritize effective actions and build a trusting relationship and strong culture.
What do I say to my top performers?
A re-recruitment conversation is one of the easiest ways to retain a high-performing employee. The High Performer Re-recruitment Conversation Template guides leaders through the structure for this dialogue. During the conversation, this tool reminds you to tell them specific ways their contributions are valued.
Keep track of the good stuff.
Starting a meeting with a Manage Up and other wins is great way to build a positive culture. What if you can't remember if you already recognized the person at the last meeting? The Manage Up/Reward & Recognition Tracking Form helps leaders keep up with who is being recognized on the team and the good work being done.
Can I make people want to be better?
Managing Up is a behavior that is essential for reducing anxiety, building teamwork, and eliminating a culture of negative communication. The practice of managing up paints the receiver and sender of the positive communication in a positive light. It also encourages more of the right work and behaviors we want to see in our organization.
Track employee retention conversations.
The 30-Day and 90-Day Conversations reinforce that leaders are committed to retaining the new hire. These conversations build an engaged workforce culture and are most effective when incorporated as a step in the formal on-boarding process. The tracking form validates the employee-leader connection.
Reduce turn-over by asking the right questions.
Learning the culture of the organization and how to be a successful member of the culture can be a difficult path to navigate for new employees. The 30-Day and 90-Day Conversations help us build trust and develop a strong relationship with our new hires. Create consistency by following these general implementation guidelines.
"If I hadn't asked, I never would have known."
Having 30/90-day conversations with new employees is a practice that should consistently be carried out. These conversations are important for engaging the new hire. They are also valuable for you, as a leader, to gain a new perspective on your organization and make changes to better your organization.
Questions to ask new employees after the first 30 days
The 30-Day Conversation is an opportunity to give feedback and increases a new hire's success. These five questions inform areas where you might provide support and establishes a positive relationship with the new employee. The 30-Day Conversation sets the stage for on-going communication.
Questions to ask new employees after the first 90 days.
The 90-Day Conversation continues to build the relationship established during the 30-Day Conversation. These questions are designed to harvest wins and identify process improvement needs. Why not get recommendations from those doing well?
Key words for the critical first days of a new hire.
To build relationships, some of the best leaders intentionally make solid connections with their employees. This is especially important when employees start a new job. Effectively engage, recruit, and retain new-hires using 30 & 90-day conversations.
Stop the Meeting Madness
We spend a lot of time in meetings. In fact, our research has found that some of us spend as much as 50% of our time just attending meetings. While they are a great way to keep teams connected, wouldn't it be great if we could structure these meetings to be more efficient and effective to give us more time back in the day?
Harness the Power of Feedback
The better we communicate results, the greater opportunity we have to create a team approach to problem solving. We train leaders to share results with employees, celebrate the wins, and ask for input on ways to improve. The Survey Results Rollout process teaches leaders to develop key words and actions for facilitating a Survey Results Rollout meeting with their team.
The Elephant in the Room: Getting Comfortable with Feedback
Every leader has to own results and commit to improvement. This executive leader explains how being authentic, openly sharing results, and choosing one or two important actions to focus on leads to improvement at all levels.
Help everyone connect to the big picture
High-performing organizations make a real commitment to employee communication, not only at the department level, but also at the administrative level. This allows employees to hear key messages, be informed on key issues, and focus on what they can do to improve.
Are your customers telling you how to serve them?
External customers want to feel valued and to trust you are providing the quality service based on their needs and wants. High performing leaders recognize the need to build feedback loops with external customers to inform service quality, improvement, and decisions that may affect service performance.